An outstanding feature on Latavious Williams was on Outside the Lines recently. We all know his story, but it really continues to be interesting.
Darnell Mayberry on OKC’s newfound celebrity: “No matter the language, though, the message is being delivered. The Thunder is the new “it” team. Oklahoma City might still trail the L.A. Lakers, and now Miami, as the most glamorous outfits. But the Thunder has climbed atop the NBA’s shortlist of sweetheart teams, franchises from which the league chooses a face and ensues to flood promotional spots with throughout the marathon season.”
NESN.com with a Thunder outlook: “The Thunder have it made. They have such a young, talented nucleus in place that they’re loaded for the next decade — but they’re also ready to win right now. Durant is too good and too competitive to settle for first-round playoff exits forever. He’s going to be ready to take that leap soon, and he’ll carry his teammates along for the ride. If Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and James Harden can prove they’re ready to be winners too, great things will happen in Oklahoma City.”
Art Garcia of NBA.com on OKC’s increased exposure: “Oklahoma City finished the regular season 50-32, a league-best 27-game improvement. Durant became the youngest scoring champ in league history. Scott Brooks won Coach of the Year. They took the Lakers to six thrilling games in the first round. Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green are currently finalists for the USA Basketball national team in the upcoming World Championships. That’s momentum. That’s the reason this team is going from forgotten stepchild to TV darling.”
A pretty terrific mixtape of KD at the Goodman League:
Tom Ziller on KD’s rap performance with Wale: “If they held championships for summertime PR, Kevin Durant would be a clear winner. He signed a max extension with Oklahoma City quietly just as LeBron fever was reaching its peak; when the media world subsequently lavished praise on KD for his exquisite humility, Durant said he didn’t deserve that special attention and proved his personality was even more wholesome than everyone had thought. How humble is Kevin Durant? He can even come off as modest on a rap record, that touchstone of athlete self-confidence. The producer, DJ Omega, is practically begging Durant to pound his chest a little, but KD holds off … for a while. Eventually he lists off his resumé, said with supreme but controlled swagger. It’s just like KD’s game: measured and decent until it’s time to make a statement.”
The full NBA schedule comes out tomorrow. Finally, something real to write about. You can bank on some overcoverage of it.
A feature in the Lawrence Journal-World on how big money isn’t changing Cole Aldrich: “As the No. 11 pick in the 2010 Draft, Aldrich will make approximately $1,772,100 during the 2010-11 season, $1,905,000 in ’11-12 and $2,037,900 in his option season of 2012-13. He also confirmed he’s about to sign a deal with a shoe company — he didn’t reveal which one — in the next couple of weeks. “I wouldn’t say I’m rich yet,” said Aldrich, wearing a simple T-shirt, shorts and sneakers. “I’m the same guy I’ve always been. I’m here at Goodcents, having a little fun interacting with the fans who gave me so much the last three years. It’s been a blast being back the last few days.”
The price for Oklahoma City Thunder license plates have been cut but they won’t start production on them until there are at least 100 pre-orders. That means at least 100 people haven’t made the commitment to adorn their vehicle’s identification with the Thunder. THAT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE.
The new commenting system is up and running right now and I’m going to test it for a few days. Any feedback on it would be lovely.